West Seattle, Washington
Just in via text (206-293-6302, 24/7), our first coyote report of the fall:
Just spotted a large coyote in the street on SW Thistle, near the alley between 24th & 25th Ave. I slowed down thinking it was a stray dog, then watched it go into the walkways in between the apt buildings there. Just want to spread the word since it’s in a highly populated area.
As also noted in our exchange with the texter, that’s across the street from the stretch of Longfellow Creek that runs east of the Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School campus. But coyotes can turn up anywhere, whether a greenbelt is nearby or not – just browse our eight-plus-year archive of sighting reports for ample evidence of that. When you see one, do your best to scare it away – more for its good than yours – as explained here.
Two West Seattle Crime Watch reader reports: First, off Harbor Avenue, two people tried to steal Laura‘s 1972 all-original Chevrolet Malibu Monday night/early Tuesday morning. She got this image from the building surveillance system:
Here’s what Laura found inside the car:
She continues, “They made three different passes at the car between 12 and 1 am but inevitably could not start it due to a bad carburetor. … As you can see there is substantial damage. With classic cars, even if insurance covers the cost of damage, you can’t always restore the value once something has been repaired.” She’s hoping to get clearer images from the system soon, but for now, she wanted to get the word out and warn others.
The second report is from Westwood, where another Laura reports her car was broken into:
This morning I discovered my car had been prowled in my driveway near 22nd Av SW and SW Barton. No forced entry, kids probably forgot to lock it. A red bag with a Chinese design was taken. Motion sensor lights did not deter this thief, and the dog must have slept through the whole thing.
Thanks to Ann Anderson for the photo. This is why California Way was closed for a while earlier this evening between Hamilton Viewpoint Park and Harbor Avenue – a collision between a King County Water Taxi shuttle bus and a pickup truck. Ann says that according to the SFD crew on scene, no one was hurt. Police were awaiting tow trucks as of last we heard, so the road should be clear by now.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
After our report on Monday night’s Seattle Public Schools levy briefing in West Seattle, a commenter asked a key question: Since the district is saying it plans to reopen E.C. Hughes Elementary (7740 34th SW), in part with money from one of those levies, why isn’t it shown in the district boundaries that are now drawn up through 2020?
Today, we got the answer: “We are considering moving the Roxhill Elementary School program to the E.C. Hughes building,” district spokesperson Tom Redman told WSB today.
This has been suggested before, but it raised capacity questions, as Hughes – closed by SPS in 1989, used as an interim/emergency building until Westside School (WSB sponsor) occupied it as a tenant for the past five years – was built to hold about 300 students. Roxhill’s most-recent enrollment estimate is approaching 400. But if the levy plan – augmented with a state grant – goes forward, the idea is to not just reopen Hughes but also to expand it to a capacity of 550.
The Roxhill building is in poor shape, to say the least, and there was a proposal just three years ago to get the “program” out of the building. At that time, the proposal was to merge it with Arbor Heights Elementary in the expanded AHES that’s now under construction. When that was floated during early discussions of the BEX IV levy, both schools’ principals were taken by surprise. But then-Roxhill principal Carmela Dellino said at the time that she had been talking with School Board member Marty McLaren about a different idea – moving Roxhill to Hughes.
Various discussions ensued but in the end, the Roxhill-AH idea went nowhere, and some were surprised that Roxhill didn’t make the preliminary project list for this new BTA IV levy. The idea of moving its program to an expanded, reopened Hughes apparently is the explanation for why it didn’t.
So what would happen to Roxhill’s campus at 30th/Roxbury? “The future use of the Roxhill building has yet to be determined,” Redman told us.
At the Monday night briefing, district officials said the target date for reopening Hughes is fall 2018; so far, no set date for this to come before the board, aside from the BTA IV levy language needing to be finalized, and that’s likely where more details would emerge. If you have a comment or question, Redman says you can e-mail him, firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be following up on all this in the days ahead.
(May photo by Long Bach Nguyen: Shell’s Polar Pioneer at T-5)
Two days after Shell‘s announcement that its offshore-drilling attempts in the Arctic are over TFN, a decision on a related West Seattle issue is in, though it might be a moot point:
That document spells out how the city Hearing Examiner’s Office has just ruled against the city Department of Planning and Development‘s contention back in May that the Port of Seattle would need a different set of permits to allow Shell’s offshore-drilling fleet to use West Seattle’s Terminal 5.
The fleet had done just that earlier this year, you’ll recall, despite DPD’s contention, which Shell, the Port, and T-5 leaseholder Foss had challenged, with the port calling it “irrational.”
Mayor Murray says he’s “disappointed” but adds that the city will not challenge the ruling by deputy Hearing Examiner Anne Watanabe, who listened to arguments over five days this summer; documents were still being posted to the voluminous online case file as recently as last week.
But Earthjustice, representing four environmental groups supporting the DPD decision, says it might appeal the Hearing Examiner’s ruling. Its managing attorney Patti Goldman is quoted in a news release as saying, “The City got it right when it decided a massive drill rig is not a cargo ship and a homeport for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet is not a cargo terminal.”
So far, Shell has not said where its rigs are headed after pulling out of the Arctic Ocean. Foss spokesperson Paul Queary told us on Monday that some items remained at T-5 to be picked up, and that fleet-related vessels had some cargo offloading to be done … but whether that would happen here remained to be seen.
Five months after we first told you about the plan for Itto’s in the space formerly occupied by Firefly at California/Genesee in The Junction, it’s close to opening. After seeing the exterior signage taking shape on Tuesday afternoon, we asked if they have a new hoped-for opening date yet – originally, they’d estimated July, but as with so many new businesses, especially restaurants, unexpected circumstances pushed things back. The new estimate: Late October. As noted in our May report, brothers Aziz and Khalid Agour plan Itto’s – named after their mom – to be a tapas-style restaurant, with a variety of cuisines, primarily Moroccan and Spanish.
It’s been a big year for milestone swims. Today, another one: That’s Mark Powell, on the last leg of his summer-long “Swim Duwamish” tour, incrementally traveling 55 miles, along the full length of the Green and Duwamish Rivers, to call attention to how vital it is to our region, and yet how fragile, after decades of abuse. As he swam to Seacrest, he didn’t arrive alone:
And then, celebratory cupcakes:
Powell said he set out to find “the heart of the Duwamish” and was glad to see the waters thick with salmon in some places:
His swims were chronicled on this website, where you can also see videos such as this one showing some of the salmon he saw:
Powell emphasized that you can take small steps to make a difference in the future of the river and all who live in it and by it and who depend on it (here’s one good place to learn “7 simple solutions”).
After numerous messages/questions from people around West Seattle, we reported last Friday on what Seattle Public Utilities believed was to blame for weirdly colored water in multiple neighborhoods – a system rerouting because of the seismic-retrofit work at Myrtle Reservoir (above). Today, an update from SPU:
The number of customer calls SPU has received about discolored drinking water in West Seattle has dropped significantly over the last few days. However, we understand some customers are still seeing discoloration in their water. SPU is continuing to monitor the situation and take water quality samples to ensure that the discoloration clears soon for all customers. Customers who are still experiencing problems should call SPU’s 24/7 Operations Response Center at 206-386-1800.
The seismic work – explained here earlier this year – has taken the underground reservoir (north and west of the big tanks) out of service; it’s expected to be complete sometime next month.
With a gray start to the day, we’re hauling out a blue-sky pic from last weekend (recognize that path?). And now, we’re looking into the future – here’s what’s happening for September’s grand finale, today and tonight, from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
‘SWIM DUWAMISH’ FINALE: 11 am at Seacrest Pier, help welcome local swimmer Mark Powell, who’s been swimming the Duwamish River and its connecting tributaries in increments over the summer, as chronicled here. (1660 Harbor SW)
BABY STORY TIME: Today, High Point Library is where you’ll find story time for newborns through one-year-olds, 11:30 am. (35th SW & SW Raymond)
LUNCHTIME MEETUP: West Seattle’s only coworking center, Office Junction (WSB sponsor), invites entrepreneurs, at-home workers, coffee-shop workers, etc., to the weekly noon brown-bag meetup. (6040 California SW)
HIGH POINT MARKET GARDEN FARM STAND FINALE: 4-7 pm, it’s your last scheduled chance this season to buy fresh produce right next to the urban mini-farm where it was grown by local gardeners. (32nd SW & SW Juneau)
GREENWAY/RAINGARDEN INFO MEETING: A “drop-in session” at the Salvation Army Center in South Delridge tonight, 6-7:30 pm, will offer information about the under-construction Delridge-Highland Park Greenway and the Delridge Natural Drainage System project. (9050 16th SW)
‘ROCK FOR FAULKNER’ BENEFIT: The Tea Party is live in-store tonight at Easy Street Records, but it’s more than a show:
In support of KISW‘s Hall of Famer, Cathy Faulkner, we are helping raise funds for her husband’s battle with cancer. The Tea Party will be performing an intimate acoustic set at Easy Street at 7 pm, followed by a signing & photo session. Ticket pre-orders for the event are $20 and include one ticket to the show and a copy of The Tea Party’s latest release …
Go here to find out more AND to pre-order your ticket ASAP. (California SW & SW Alaska)
MORE … on our complete calendar.
**UPDATE: SPU SAYS THIS IS POSTPONED**
Planning your weekend? This might be of interest, just out of the inbox:
Seattle Public Utilities is conducting roadway panel replacement on the West Seattle Bridge/Fauntleroy Way SW Express ramp heading eastbound and westbound. From Friday, October 2 at 7:00 pm to the evening of Sunday, October 4, crews will repair the roadway following an emergency sewer repair project in the same location. The inside eastbound and inside westbound lane will be closed during this time and drivers should allow extra time for their trips due to possible congestion in this area.
9:41 AM: They have “water on the fire” and are searching to make sure no one’s in the house. It’s not a huge fire, though, as indicated by the call to dismiss all but four units.
9:45 AM: The fire’s now declared “tapped.”
9:50 AM: Our crew has talked to SFD at the scene. The fire was on the second floor and is believed to have been electrical in origin; everyone who was home got out OK, no injuries. Very smoky; they’re still trying to determine if the residents will be able to get back into the house safely any time soon.
Last day of September, and the holidays are in view. Three events are inviting artists to apply, with deadlines coming up fast:
ART UNDER $100: Deadline is TOMORROW for South Park Arts‘ annual mega-event Art Under $100, happening again this year at the Seattle Design Center. While the event isn’t until December 12th (1-8 pm), the application deadline is October 1st, and you’ll find all the info on the application page – just go here.
FALL ART OPENING AT ‘THE BUILDING’: October 14th is the deadline to apply to be part of this event in Gatewood. The announcement:
Our Fall Art Opening is free and open to the public! We will be featuring local artists’ works, music, & food, just in time to kick-start the Holiday Season. We hope that you can join us for this amazing night!!
We are looking for artists doing work in different mediums at a variety of price points for the holiday season.
The Building’s 3rd Annual, Fall Art Opening!
Saturday, November 14th
4316 SW Othello St.m West Seattle
E-mail Submission Deadline is October 14th, $25 participation fee once accepted. Please email samples of your work with a detailed description and prices to Brenda Scallon – email@example.com – thank you in advance for your participation; we look forward to seeing your work!
HIGHLAND PARK IMPROVEMENT CLUB BAZAAR: Handmade arts and crafts are what organizers want to see from vendors at HPIC‘s annual bazaar, also set for November 14th (daytime – 10 am-3 pm). Find out more, including contact info, on the HPIC website.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
No incidents so far on the routes through or from West Seattle.
TONIGHT – DELRIDGE GREENWAY/NATURAL DRAINAGE INFO: One transportation-related meeting tonight, a “drop-in session” at the Salvation Army in South Delridge (9050 16th SW), 6-7:30 pm, with information about the Delridge-Highland Park Greenway – which is under construction – and the Delridge Natural Drainage System project, which is about to get going.
7:19 AM: Speaking of South Delridge, SDOT reports a crash at Delridge/Cloverdale. No SFD dispatch at this point. (Not hearing anything about it on the scanner, either.)
7:25 AM: Multiple reports via comments and Twitter of a long-running low-bridge opening:
— Kevin Freitas (@kevinfreitas) September 30, 2015
7:30 AM: The low bridge is open for surface traffic again. If you’re new, there’s a big backstory with the city attempting to keep the bridge from opening for maritime traffic during rush hours; the US Coast Guard has said no multiple times over the years – some history here and here. The sixth of 27 possibilities in the new West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor “action report” suggests “developing a relationship” with vessel operators so that in case of an incident affecting traffic elsewhere in the corridor, they can at least get “early warnings” of the bridge opening for maritime traffic. (That’s one topic you might want to discuss at the just-announced meeting about the report and the corridor, 6:30 pm October 19th.)
7:49 AM: The “low bridge” is open again but that’s not showing on the @SDOTBridges twitter account. We happened to hear Harbor Island-bound emergency vehicles (checking out a fire alarm) mention it over the air as a reason they’ll be delayed.
8:28 AM: Via e-mail, reader says the bus-lane-enforcement officer is/has been out again today.
Seattle Public Schools‘ draft proposal for changing bell times didn’t draw much support among the two dozen or so people who showed up at the first of five public meetings about it, held tonight at Chief Sealth International High School.
The proposed change in so-called “bell times” starting next year follows years of advocacy for starting middle and high schools later, to better align with tweens’ and teens’ biological clocks.
The “draft proposal” would give all high schools in the district an 8:50 am start; that would be an hour later than West Seattle High School starts now, 10 minutes later than Chief Sealth IHS starts now. But the most dramatic change would be for middle schools, moving all to a 9:40 am start – that’s almost two hours later than the current 7:50 am start time they all have, including West Seattle’s Madison Middle School and Denny International High School.
Start times for K-8s and elementaries would vary. Local schools’ current start times and proposed new ones (as listed on a district handout) are below:
Pathfinder K-8, 8:40/8:50
Louisa Boren STEM K-8, 9:30/8:50
Arbor Heights, 8:40/9:40
Fairmount Park, 8:40, 8:00
Highland Park, 8:40/9:40
Schmitz Park, 8:40/8:00
West Seattle, 8:40/8:00
Tonight’s meeting, led by assistant superintendent Pegi McEvoy, got testy at times; most of those who spoke said they don’t want the times to change at all. That wasn’t necessarily a surprise, given that results of an online parent survey (see page 13 here) showed this area with the highest support (46 percent) for keeping the status quo. Concerns voiced at the meeting ranged from insufficient data supporting the change to uncertainty over how afterschool activities would be affected.
And that didn’t just mean classic extracurricular offerings such as athletics – for example, Denny principal Jeff Clark said his school and two other middle schools are showing significant improvement in closing the “achievement gap” thanks to special after-school academic programs; if school starts two hours later, those programs will end two hours later – keeping participants at school until 6:20 pm.
The data concerns had to do with results of a district survey about changing bell times. Most of the parents in attendance said the plan to move ahead was based on too small a set of responses to really justify the change. But McEvoy and staff pointed to slides showing that they had gathered and parsed large amounts of data from parents and students. One parent asked if elementary-school kids had been included – answer: no – while others wondered if the older students who responded realized that later times would affect after school activities and even the possibility of holding a job.
Regarding athletics and after-school activities, attendees wondered how the district was working with Seattle Parks regarding field use, especially for West Seattle HS and adjacent Hiawatha Playfield. According to McEvoy, a district contract with Parks has expired and they’re working on an agreement, but don’t want to finalize anything until the district makes its bell-times decision. Some parents suggested that seemed to be a backward way to go about it, and some wondered if practices would end up being moved to the morning hours before school, canceling the expected benefits of a later start time for classes.
About those benefits – those in opposition questioned whether the American Academy of Pediatrics‘ findings related to improved attendance and grade performance.
Other concerns included family schedules: How would this affect students who currently are responsible for picking up younger siblings? And if middle school started later, would 11- and 12-year-olds find themselves staying home for a few hours by themselves, and getting themselves to school?
There were a few voices of support, including someone who said studies back east showed this could result in GPA and attendance improvement.
So what happens now? The board – whose West Seattle rep, Marty McLaren, attended the meeting – will consider the issue as part of a transportation item on the agenda on October 21st, McEvoy said. The district, she added, is trying to work this out so that it’s “cost-neutral” in terms of bus schedules.
If you have something to say – pro, con, or otherwise – the district is continuing to accept comments through October 6th; e-mail yours to firstname.lastname@example.org. As noted above, 4 more meetings are planned elsewhere in the district; see the list here. If you want to read through some or all of the backstory and district documentation on this issue – go here.
(Still lots to see in the sky, post-eclipse. Monday night moon, by Doug Branch)
By Alice Enevoldsen
Special to West Seattle Blog
I can see from all the photos here on WSB and on social media that plenty of people enjoyed watching Sunday night’s lunar eclipse, from as close as your own backyard, the sidewalk in front of your apartment, or a quick jaunt down to the nearest park.
What’s next? Three conjunctions in a row and maybe some fireball meteors.
Upcoming Conjunctions and ‘Hey, What’s That?’
6:50 PM: If you’re just about to head this way – you might consider 1st, 4th, the low bridge, or I-5 because of a crash at the southbound 99 ramp to the westbound high bridge. SFD has just cleared, but police are still there.
6:59 PM: SDOT says the scene has cleared but “residual delays” are likely for a while.
8:34 PM: In comments, KJB says a hit-run driver is to blame and is asking for help if anyone’s seen a “silver wagon-type” vehicle with “significant damage to the passenger front.”
(Above, 1962 view looking west over Luna Park and beyond, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. Below, April 2013 aerial view looking south from Duwamish Head, by Long Bach Nguyen)
The seeds of our current growth and zoning, whether you like the way things are going or not, were sown many years ago – going back in the 1990s, during a big civic process. Maybe you weren’t here to get involved. Maybe you never heard about it. Here’s your chance to change that for the next 20 years. Right now – somewhat drowned out by a lot of other noise – another big process has been under way for a while, aimed at coming up with a road map to last through 2035. Even if you’ve missed earlier discussions, here comes another chance. West Seattle will be the site of one of five meetings coming up to talk about the next revision of the Comprehensive Plan. The announcement, just out of our inbox:
The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will hold five community meetings this fall to solicit public comment on the Draft City of Seattle Comprehensive Plan. Titled ‘Seattle 2035,’ the Draft Plan was released for public comment on July 8, 2015. The updated Comprehensive Plan will be our roadmap for Seattle’s next 20 years.
The meetings will include open house displays and a presentation to provide a broad overview of the Draft Plan, highlight major changes and get feedback on proposed village expansion areas, especially areas near meeting locations. Since some of Seattle 2035’s policies about affordable housing will be implemented as part of the City’s proposed Housing and Affordability and Livability Agenda, there will be information and opportunity for feedback at the meetings.
The Draft Plan is informed by the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that was released in May 2015. The Draft Plan includes goals and policies to help achieve our vision for Seattle’s future. Seattle is expected to grow by 120,000 residents and 115,000 jobs in the coming 20 years. The Draft Plan also includes a new Future Land Use Map, showing a pattern of growth that supports the City’s vision.
The City of Seattle is seeking public feedback on the Draft Plan as we continue to evaluate goals and policies to build a safe, livable, vibrant, and affordable city for all. City staff has already received hundreds of public comments on the DEIS and on the overall direction of the Draft Plan document.
DPD is extending the public comment period through Friday, November 20th. The Online Community Conversation will remain live through this period. Here’s how to join the conversation about Seattle’s future and provide comments:
1. Attend a community meeting in October or November
3. Join the Seattle 2035 Online Community Conversation and discuss the potential pros and cons of proposed policies with other Seattleites
4. Follow Seattle 2035 on Facebook and Twitter
5. Send comments by November 20, 2015:
a. Email comments to email@example.com
b. Mail comments to the City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Attn: Seattle 2035, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle WA 98124-4019.
Feedback received on the Draft Comprehensive Plan will help inform the Mayor’s Recommended Plan, which will be released in early 2016.
(Five open houses are listed in the full announcement – following is the only one in West Seattle)
November 12, 6 pm to 8 pm (presentation at 6:30 pm)
Senior Center of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon St.
(Slide deck from last night’s meeting – see it here as a PDF)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Why DOES Seattle Public Schools put its levies on a “special election” ballot in February, instead of November when everything else is out to be voted on?
That was one of the questions asked – and answered – as the district led an informational meeting at West Seattle High School last night about the two levies it plans to put before you on February 9th, 2016, known as Operations and BTA IV (background info here).
This was the third in the district’s second series of five citywide meetings, deputy superintendent Flip Herndon said, and by far the best turnout, by multiple accounts – about three dozen people, around half there to show support for a project that’s not on the levy’s draft project list, the West Seattle Indoor Tennis proposal – yet.
Maybe you’ve seen some of what car prowlers stole from Ashley last night?
My car was broken into last night on the corner of 48th Ave SW and Dawson St. My work badge from Seattle Children’s Hospital was stolen as well as a large pink beach tote with our last name on it full of beach toys, towels, and spare clothes and diapers, and my son’s school tote with his coat. I am certain that none of this is at all meaningful to the thieves but it is to me!! I wonder if they threw it out after looking through it. If anyone finds it, I would so appreciate getting it back!!
After receiving Ashley’s e-mail, we checked online SPD records for the past week.
Above is what the SPD Crime Reports map shows right now, dating back to last Tuesday – the car prowls on the map, north to south, are: Alki/61st, last Tuesday morning; 45th/Hinds, last Friday morning (reported here); 2900 block of Avalon, last Friday morning; 4000 block of 42nd SW, last Tuesday night; 5600 block of 35th SW, last Tuesday night; last Friday night, 2800 block of SW Barton; last Wednesday evening, 9400 block of 16th SW. To doublecheck the files, we also reviewed Tweets by Beat (which continually update on the WSB Crime Watch page), and found six others that hadn’t made the map yet, besides what Ashley reported above:
*4000 block of SW Brandon, reported this morning
*4000 block of Admiral Way, reported this morning
*3000 block of 38th SW, reported Monday morning
*1600 block of SW Roxbury, reported Monday morning
*4000 block of SW Concord, reported Sunday afternoon
*3000 block of SW Orleans, reported Friday night
(Also not listed, we noticed while checking the archives, the 8800 block of 40th SW car prowl reported here on Sunday.)
Earlybird price is about to expire for one of this fall’s biggest benefits. Kristina at the White Center Food Bank (which serves West Seattle from SW Myrtle southward, too) sends the reminder:
The White Center Food Bank’s 11th Annual Harvest Dinner & Auction is coming up on October 17, 2015 at South Seattle College’s Brockey Center. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and helps us to continuing feeding our community; in 2014, we served 64,473 people from West Seattle, White Center, and Burien. The auction is really fantastic this year, with items ranging from restaurant gift cards to a week in Mallorca, Spain, and everything inbetween; the dinner is a delicious steak and salmon entrée (vegetarian also available). Tickets are on sale now, and the price goes up October 1st, so the time to buy is RIGHT NOW! Last year, the event sold out, and we hope for the same this year. Information, tickets, and a preview of items up for bid, all available at whitecenterfoodbank.maestroweb.com
(California sea lion, photographed by Mark Wangerin)
Highlights of what’s up today/tonight, featuring listings from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
BABY STORY TIME: 10:30 am at Southwest Library – songs, stories, rhymes for wee ones up to a year old. (35th SW & SW Henderson)
NORTH DELRIDGE ACTION PLAN: Come find out about the draft plan and talk about your hopes and dreams for the area – including the future of Delridge Way and vicinity as a “multimodal corridor” – during a 6-8 pm workshop at Delridge Community Center; details in our calendar listing. (4501 Delridge Way SW)
CHANGE DESIGN REVIEW? The city’s been working on “improvements” to the Design Review program, and is having two open houses – neither is in West Seattle, but at 6 pm tonight in Columbia City, it’s the closest one. Details here. (4721 Rainier Ave. S.)
COMMUNITY CONVERSATION WITH SCHOOL BOARD REP: West Seattle/South Park’s rep on the Seattle Public Schools board, Marty McLaren, has her next community-conversation meeting tonight at High Point Library, 6-8 pm. (35th SW & SW Raymond)
CHANGE SCHOOL START TIMES? TALK PROPOSED ‘BELL TIMES’ TONIGHT: For the second consecutive night, Seattle Public Schools is bringing a big topic to a meeting in West Seattle. 6:30 pm, the next round of discussion about changing “bell times” – school schedules – is happening at Chief Sealth International High School. See the superintendent’s Draft Proposal by going here (note, for example, that West Seattle High School would start an hour later than it does now, and Denny IMS & Madison MS would start almost 2 hours later than they do now); more info about the meeting here. (2600 SW Thistle)
MORE! for tonight, tomorrow, beyond on our complete calendar.
(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
6:47 AM: The morning starts with trouble on northbound I-5 downtown, a deadly crash that has left only one lane open at Mercer.
6:57 AM: While SDOT described it as a lane, traffic reporters say it’s just the shoulder at one spot. WSP says the scene of the crash, which killed a motorcycle rider, stretches across 150 feet. As noted in comments, other northbound routes (especially 99) are slowed by the spillover.
7:14 AM: Thanks to Erica for calling with the tip – a stalled vehicle is blocking one lane of the Fauntleroy end of the bridge, not too far past Fauntleroy.
7:18 AM: Just heard the dispatch on that, so police are on the way to check it out.
7:21 AM: Again, NB I-5 remains almost completely blocked on the north side of downtown. WSP now says the crash scene stretched across 400 feet.
7:33 AM: While monitoring for updates, we’ll mention two other transportation notes:
BUS BRIEFING: It was late Monday afternoon before the City Council, as the Transportation Benefit District Board, finally heard from Metro leadership. We’ll be publishing the full story when the Seattle Channel video of the meeting is available; in short, there was no specific explanation of why West Seattle routes seemed to be disproportionately affected, just a couple things we’ve heard before – that the overall cancellation rate systemwide is miniscule, and that it should all be better in October (mid-to-late) when they finish hiring, which was described as a lengthy process. (So far this morning, the cancellations tweeted by Metro are NOT on West Seattle routes.)
WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CORRIDOR ACTION REPORT – SPECIAL MEETING: Announced even later in the day, but with three weeks’ notice – City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will host a meeting in West Seattle about the report covered here a week ago, suggesting 27 possibilities for improving the “West Seattle Bridge-Duwamish Waterway Corridor.” 6:30 pm Monday, October 19th, at the Sisson Building (home of the Senior Center) in The Junction, California/Oregon. (Here’s our story from last night.)
7:51 AM: Via scanner, we’ve heard police just say the eastbound high bridge is now clear – but still affected by the backup from the northbound I-5 crash (where one lane is open, no ETA for investigators to clear the scene).
8:39 AM: Still just one lane at the NB I-5 scene. We’ll continue to update here past the top of the hour, even once we move to other news at the top of the home page. Meantime, even school buses are affected, the district tweeted:
Transportation being impacted by major crash on I-5 early this morning. Many buses running 30-60 min late. Parents/students thx for patience
— Seattle Schools (@seapubschools) September 29, 2015
8:48 AM: Mike Jensen reports via Twitter that there’s (still?) a stalled vehicle on the eastbound bridge, parallel with Nucor. So if you’re going to brave the backup anyway, Admiral/Avalon might be better than the Fauntleroy entrance to the bridge … Mike Lindblom has tweeted that the backup stretches quite a distance back on Delridge Way.
9:28 AM: Per an exchange overheard via scanner a few minutes ago, apparently 911 didn’t have word about THAT stalled vehicle. A police unit told them about it and is now handling it.
9:33 AM: I-5 northbound lanes are all open at Mercer following the motorcycle-crash investigation, but backups are still reported northbound just about everywhere – will take a while to clear.
You probably recognize WestSide Baby‘s executive director Nancy Woodland at left-center of the photo, provided by the King County Council, whose members hosted her and Eastside Baby Corner‘s Renee Zimmerman on Monday in honor of Diaper Need Awareness Week. We feature WS Baby’s big drives throughout the year, and those donations are vital – to stay dry, clean, and healthy, a baby/toddler needs an average of 50 diaper changes a week, and diapers can’t be purchased with food stamps or WIC vouchers. That fact affects 10,000 babies/toddlers in King County whose families are living below the federal poverty level. The county announcement quotes Woodland as noting, “Diapers for one child can cost upwards of $70 per month, and most daycares won’t accept children without an adequate supply, leaving parents without child care unable to get to work and trapped in a cycle of poverty.” Here’s how to help.